Beatlemania year one…London had started to swing and music was getting better. They went to America and it shook them up more than the redcoats who showed up in 1776. If The Fab 4 had scared the Home Counties retired Colonel set, The Rolling Stones had them reaching for the heart pills. They looked like girls and they peed against garage doors and made raw, seedy blues that copied Chicago blues but got the accents wrong but it didn’t matter.
Bob Dylan had all the hip college kids dressing in donkey jackets and hobo caps, copies of On The Road sticking out the back pockets of their Levis.
In the clubs and discotheques – new word, remember it – unisex kids were bopping to the early sounds of Motown sound filtering across the Atlantic. Then there were the groups on Ready, Steady Go and Top Of The Pops – new TV shows that started that year – The Kinks, The Animals, Manfred Mann.
Album of the year:‘The Times They Are A-Changin” – Bob Dylan
Single of the year:‘Where Did Our Love Go?’ – The Supremes
Band/Artist: The Beatles, again
1964 belonged to:Dylan, donkey jackets, smoking and ‘finding yourself’
Key event of the year:‘Cool’ Labour seize power sweeping out fusty old Tories. Sound familiar?
Gone: Or at least knocked back; the tired upper classes A new Labour government led by Harold Wilson preached the gospel of “the white heat of technology” and everything that was crap and old world – segregation, the bomb, the upper classes, the churches – was being swept away by a tide of angry young men and women.
A lippy young black man from Louisville Kentucky, Cassius Clay (as was), beat Sonny Liston to win the World Heavyweight Title while across the old South the moral force of the civil rights movement led by the Rev Martin Luther King still seemed unstoppable.
On the beaches of Britain, the spirit of the new – represented by the gum chewing speed freak crop headed sharp dressed Mods – battled the old school lumpen-prole greasers: ‘Be Bop A Lula’ versus ‘My Guy’ and the soul sound of Martha & The Vandellas. Was it all over for Frank Ifield and Kenny Ball And His Jazzmen?